COVID-19 Resources for Individuals
- Unemployment Insurance
- Cash Payment Relief
- Paying Rent and Mortgages
- State and Local Protections: Eviction, Rent, and Utilities
- Student Loans
- Food and Nutrition Resources
- Child Care
- Resources Specifically for Immigrants
Determine your Unemployment Insurance eligibility by visiting the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) website and downloading their eligibility checklist. Learn more about important changes and subscribe to updates about ESD’s response to COVID-19. Before applying for Unemployment, make sure you have all the information you'll need with this application checklist.
To apply for benefits, you will need to create a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account. Be sure to watch this video on how to set up your SAW account. Check the regularly updated Employment Security Department’s COVID FAQ page for more information.
- Information on how to file for unemployment insurance.
- Information on how to file for workers' compensation.
Visit this list of resources from King County to help navigate different agencies and how to file for unemployment or workers’ compensation.
Cash Payment Relief
Millions of individuals are entitled to up to three economic impact payments (also known as stimulus checks), whether or not you regularly file a tax return. People who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns with direct deposit information or receive Social Security should have received payments automatically.
If you did not receive your first or second payment and believe you were eligible, you may still be able to receive the funds through the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit.
If you have not yet received the third payment, you can check the status of your payment through the IRS’ Get My Payment tool.
If you have not yet received your payment, learned if you are eligible, or calculated how much you are entitled to, you can see the FAQs and more at the Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
The IRS urges people who don’t typically file a tax return – and haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment – to register as quickly as possible IRS.gov.
If you work with an organization helping consumers claim their stimulus checks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just released the guide Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations. The guide contains step-by-step information for direct service and community organizations frontline staff on how to:
- Discuss the EIP with clients;
- Determine if clients need to take action; and
- Support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues or address scenarios such as not having a permanent address
Paying Rent and Mortgages
If you are unable to make your rent payment, contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement. If you are in need of rental assistance, you can also contact a housing counseling agency toll-free (800) 569-4287. They can help point you in the right direction.
NEW: State and local organizations are distributing federal rental assistance in their communities to help renters and landlords who are struggling to keep up with rent and other bills. Check out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Rental Assistance Finder tool to find out how to access rental assistance in your area.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the extensions of the eviction moratorium to September 30, 2021 as COVID-19 continues to impact the finances of Washingtonians statewide.
The CDC also extended the federal eviction moratorium to October 3.
NEW EXPANSION OF RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
King County is starting another round of Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program. Visit the website, call 206-263-3481, or email DCHSRentalAssistance@kingcounty.gov for more information. You can also find additional Washington State Rental Assistance providers here.
United Way of King County is offering one month of rental assistance to income-eligible people in King County struggling to pay rent. Individuals who need rental help can access the funds by calling 211 or completing an application online.
U.S. Department of Treasury Rental Assistance Program Website:
The U.S. Department of Treasury helps connect renters with Emergency Rental Assistance programs through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Here, renters can view an index of the websites associated with their grantees’ rental assistance programs to help tenants and landlords find programs in their areas.
- You can contact the Washington Homeownership Hotline at 1-877-894-HOME for more information and assistance.
- If I Can’t Pay My Mortgage Loan, What Are My Options? - Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- List of Housing Counseling Agencies in Washington - Housing counselors may be able to assist you with your needs. Contact a housing counselor near you.
- Find out if you qualify for protections in recent legislation by visiting Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help and using Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup Tool or calling 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643); or visiting Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 and using Freddie Mac’s Loan Lookup Tool or calling 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343).
State & Local Protections: Evictions, Rent, Utilities
Eviction Moratorium – No evictions for renters, tenants, and residents extended to September 30, 2021.
Utilities Non-Payment Protections – Energy, water, and landline telephone companies are prohibited from disconnecting and charging late fees to residential customers extended to September 30, 2021.
- Customers and utilities are expected to continue to communicate in good faith with one another, and to work together, on the timing and terms of payment and repayment solutions
- There is also a list of resources for landlords and tenants related to the eviction moratorium that with helpful info here.
- City of Seattle: Available Utility Assistance and Utility Discount Program
- City of Renton: Information for renters
- City of Kent: Tenant resources
- City of Tacoma: Landlord-Tenant Program, Utility Bill Assistance Program for Small Businesses, and additional resources
The U.S. Department of Education is providing updates and answers to frequently asked questions for students and student borrowers on the Federal Student Aid website.
Some students can temporarily stop making payments: To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment through September 30, 2021. Borrowers will be given a 21-day notice before payments resume.
If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, contact your school. You can easily avoid the consequences of delinquency or default by staying in touch with your servicer or school.
Your servicer or school can provide information about deferment or forbearance options that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans. You may also be able to change to a different repayment plan that would give you a lower monthly payment.
- Student Loan Deferment or Forbearance - Information from the Department of Education.
- Washington Student Achievement Council COVID-19 Resources - Information and resources from the Washington Student Achievement Council
WA State Food/Nutrition Resources
- This website offers up-to-date information on food assistance resources available to Washingtonians through state, local, and federal programs.
- This website provides information about food access programs and services to help support King County residents during this difficult time.
Apply for SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits
Map displaying locations of free public food resources in King County, updated weekly by Public Health - Seattle & King County and City of Seattle including "Grab and Go" student meal sites in King County.
- All children up to 18 years of age are eligible to receive a free packed breakfast/lunch meal at the sites listed. Children do not need to be enrolled in that school district to receive meals, but they do need to be present. Meals are "grab and go"—Students will not stay onsite to eat.
Summer Meals for Students in City of Seattle: The City of Seattle is providing free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for children ages 1-18 through our Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program will run from June 21 through August 25, 2021. Use the Summer Meals Search Tool to find a meal distribution site in your area.
Find a Local Food Bank
- In Western Washington, find a Food Lifeline partner in your area.
- Throughout Washington, find a Northwest Harvest partner in your area.
Due to COVID-19 school closures, families may be eligible to get help with food benefits called Pandemic EBT Emergency School Meals Program (P-EBT). Most families who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and whose children already receive free or reduced-price meals do not need to apply.
Families with children who are eligible and approved by their school district for free or reduced-price meals and who do not currently get Basic Food benefits, must apply online at Washingtonconnection.org for P-EBT before August 31 or the start of the 2020-2021 school year—whichever is later.
- How do I apply for SNAP?
Visit the WA State SNAP Website. Effective, March 26, 2020 you can apply for Basic Food Assistance online or by phone at 1-877-501-2233. Once COVID-19 is over, we will resume normal operations at local Community Services Offices. Note: the application for benefits is available in several languages (English, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese).
- Do I qualify for SNAP if I am getting unemployment insurance?
Your household must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SNAP and receive benefits, even if you are getting unemployment insurance. If your state agency determines that you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits, you will receive benefits back to the date you submitted your application.
- How long will I be able to get SNAP?
If you are determined to be eligible for SNAP, you will receive a notice from the state agency that tells you how long you will receive SNAP.
- How much will I receive?
SNAP benefits are based on your family size and income. Are you eligible? Try WA State’s online benefit estimator. NOTE: WA State is providing temporary emergency CR-SNAP benefits so all participating households receive up to the maximum monthly allotment for the household’s size.
- What can I buy with SNAP benefits?
You can use SNAP benefits to buy most food items, except hot foods; prepared foods for immediate consumption; alcohol; tobacco; vitamins, medicines, and supplements; and any nonfood items.
Are you an essential worker who lives or works in King County and you need childcare to be able to do your job? If the answer is YES, King County is here to help you access free emergency child care.
- For those who live or work in King County, but outside of City of Seattle: If you are interested in accessing the free emergency child care slots, please call the Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center at 1-800-446-1114 to reach staff who will conduct a phone intake with you! After the intake, a resources specialist will work with you to match you with an eligible child care provider that meets your family's needs. The County and its partners are working quickly, and hope to have child care available by mid-April.
- For those who live or work in the City of Seattle: If you need infant or child care, you may be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). CCAP is open to qualifying families who live in Seattle and have working parents or a parent attending school. CCAP provides financial assistance to pay for child care services for children up to 13 years old. To learn more, please call 206-386-1050, email CCAP@seattle.gov, or visit their website.
City of Seattle Parents: For working families, or a parent going to school, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is set to help those who are eligible and living within the Seattle city limits pay for child care services for children up to 13 years old. Go to the CCAP website to learn more about eligibility.
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County
Select Boys & Girls Clubs are offering a full days of care for school-aged children. There are no additional costs for current club members and new teen members would pay a $50 membership fee. New non-teen members would pay a $50 membership fee and a $25/day fee. Scholarships are also available.
Additional Help and Resources: You are seeking child care and would like additional resources or help, you can call the Child Care COVID-19 Communications, Response, and Referral Center at 1-800-446-1114 or visit the Child Care Resources website.
Resources for Immigrants
If you are an immigrant searching for information on what services you are eligible for, please know that all Seattle residents regardless of immigration status are eligible for City of Seattle programs and services unless noted otherwise. Resources related. Here is a resource page from the City of Seattle.
COVID-19 Assistance Eligibility and Public Charge Information for Immigrants
The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs compiled this COVID-19 Eligibility and Public Charge Guide for Immigrants who want to know more about how the issue of public charge might affect their ability to access healthcare and other services listed on this page.
Resources for Veterans
What to do if you are a veteran and you think you have COVID-19:
Before visiting local VA medical facilities, community providers, urgent care centers, or emergency departments in their communities, veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms—such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath—are encouraged to call their VA medical facility or call MyVA311 (844-698-2311, press #3 to be connected).
Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans’ symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include referral to state or local health departments for COVID-19 testing.
Updates From Local VA Facilities in the Puget Sound:
Procedures and access to VA facilities are changing frequently in response to COVID-19. Be sure to check here for the latest information on operations at your local VA.
GI Bill Benefits: Student veterans will continue to receive their GI Bill benefits under the Student Veteran Coronavirus Act. Student veterans will not see a reduction in their monthly housing allowance as a result of their schools moving to online instruction due to COVID-19. Benefits will continue automatically and current GI Bill beneficiaries are not required to take any action. Student veterans may contact the Education Call Center with questions at (888) 442-4551 between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.